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Crown Prince
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Crown Prince

A Crown Prince or Crown Princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. (Crown Princess is also the title of the wife of the Crown Prince.) In Europe, lineal succession conventions (see for example Salic law) usually dictate that the eldest child (as in Sweden, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands) or the eldest son of the current monarch (United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark etc) fills this role, but in Arab monarchies, for example, succession rules may differ and a Crown Prince may gain the title on merit, or because someone is not seen as a threat to the reign of the current monarch; in such cases a person granted the title may also lose it, with it being granted to another member of the Royal Family.

Compare Heir Apparent and Heir Presumptive.

It should however be noted that, although it is often used as a generic term for heir apparent, it is seldom an official title in the European monarchies. Currently, only the heir apparents to the Scandinavian monarchies officially bear the title, while the heir presumptive normally would be titled Hereditary Prince. Many monarchies use special titles

See also: Crown Prince Party of the People's Republic of China